Editor’s Note: Vaikunthanath Das Kaviraj, the Plant Doctor, passed away on on March 2nd in Northern France. His good friend Mark Moodie has generously agreed to take over the column. Here he gives some opening remarks before answering your questions below.
This monthly column may well mark one of the least of the many holes left by Kaviraj’s death in March 2013, but I’d be delighted if we can set our collective sights on the same agrohomeopathic goals as Kavi, as a fitting tribute.I am somewhat daunted by the many questions submitted to Hpathy in the expectation of Kaviraj continuing to be here to address them, and I don’t have Kaviraj’s experience or confidence to make prescriptions. I don’t feel able to say to A – who I don’t know – in country B – where I’ve probably never been – that disease C – one I may never have seen – on crop D – that I’ve never grown or possibly even eaten or heard of – should be treated with remedy E at potency F. What I can offer is a coordinating role for a process that holds such a far off goal in mind. This is the same process that homeopathy for humans has used for 200 years, so I am quite confident in its potential. It is the open sharing and organizing process which has resulted in the pharmacopoeia, material medica and repertory for humans.Thanks to the work of Kaviraj and many others, this process has already started and is available at any time of day or night for free to all who have access to the net. It also has the benefit over Hahnemann and most of his successors that everyone can add their own experiences directly via the computer or by sending those experiences to me so I can add them. This is accessible at www.considera.org/matmed For this to work one need only grown some plants, observe well, try some remedies, keep records and be willing to share your experiences. No one needs to be an expert – just willing and diligent. This way the process can flower over many seasons and produce fruit for our children – and we will have honoured Kaviraj’s work.One more thing. If I remember my Organon rightly there’s something about ‘maintaining causes’ that I’d like to have remembered. We can’t grow melons on subsoil in Mongolia in winter – yet, anyway – so I may bring this up now and again.Given all that, let’s get on with the questions and see what we can do together …
1. To Plant Doctor
It’s a big pleasure to read about your extensive research and study in Agrohomeopathy. To introduce myself, I am a practicing Architect from Nashik, India and have a hobby of Aquascaping. I am very much interested to know if the agro homeopathy can help me with the plants submerged in water? Since I am not from a medical background I am trying to gather some information about types of homeopathic medicines used for plants. How can I have healthy greener plants underwater. I am equipped with Co2 gas Cylinders and macro (KNO3, K2SO4, etc) & micro (Fe, B, N, etc) nutrients required. Also I want to develop one tank completely based on Homeopathic remedies with additional support of CO2 and lights.
Mark Moodie: Dear Sir. I also have worked with water and plants for many years! However, not with chemical nutrients but to stabilise organic wastes. I know of just two experimenters who have done work. One is a company in Switzerland called BiPlantol who have a product called BiPlantol Aqua which has been used to clarify water, You can find a little about them here – http://biplantol.de/Produkte/Aqua – and here – . There is also a paper about phosphorus in waste waters and what occurred when homeopathic phosphorus was added in D30 and D200. I don’t know if that will be a fruitful route to pursue. Please let us know if you have some experiences to share.
2. My daughter, who is 19 years old, is reading your book. She is interested in practicing agrohomeopathy as a career. Do you have any recommendations for what kind of schooling would give her the best start with this? Does she need to focus on plant biology, botany, homeopathy? Does she need to have a degree as well as studying homeopathy? This is such a new field that she is not sure how to proceed. She volunteers now at the Rodale Institute, an organic research farm near our home and is also helping out a friend with her farming. She is hoping to experiment a bit with the agrohomeopathy this growing season.
Thanks so much, Sandra Seaman
Mark Moodie : Hello Sandra and daughter. Is your daughter primarily a head, heart or hands person? What does she love to do? Where does her enthusiasm lie? What’s her constitutional?
I would encourage the experimentation you mention because the doing of even one experiment reveals many of the traps that are best avoided. I would also encourage any discipline that lets her powers of observation blossom. The study of homeopathy for humans would be a good grounding as would any work and study with nature.
I assume you are in the USA because of the reference to the Rodale Institute. There are US apprenticeships (https://www.biodynamics.com/nabdap) in biodynamic agriculture which offer grounding in the practical aspects of working with nature as well as exploring the theory and practice of working with potentised materials for definite agricultural ends. There are similar programs in Europe. If there are others around the world I’d be interested to learn. Good luck.
I am an organic farmer from southern part of Karnataka, india. My exact location is uppalli, village, madasurulingadahalli post, sagartaluk, shimoga district, 577434, karnataka, india. My entire farm is organic and my entire family dependent on homoepathy. Recently we have started growing vegetables and flowers (gerbera and carnation) in polyhouse. there also I am not using chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The polyhouse is in an area of a quarter acre. Every day we are using 40 liters of cattle urine along with water through drip pipe to the plants which are in the polyhouse. But, since last 7 days we have noticed mites on gerbera leaves. The plants have not yet started flowering. They are just three months old. We took one neem oil spray with 0.03% concentration. Initially I did not notice the mite menace after spraying. But now again it has appeared. What to spray and how to control is the major question. Please send some homeopathic remedies.
Dr. Anand, A.S.
Chairman, organic farming mission, government of Karnataka, India.
Mark Moodie: Namasthe Dr. Anand
I would point you to my introduction for my excuses and limitations. However, a few things come to mind. To answer your question directly I have gone to the online material medica (which was seeded by Kaviraj’s experiences and considerations) and to its search page which can be found at .There one can put in mites and out should come this list:
|Sim – Amb||Amblyseius|
Like with the human material medica one would then follow the links to the remedies and see if any of the indications match your situation. Alternatively perhaps follow the recommendations / experiences of the researcher you trust the most. You could see if any of the filters at the base of the individual pages help you find situations in climates most like your own or with plants similar to gerbera.
The second thing that comes to mind is that urine is a source of unstabilised nitrogen. This means that the soluble urates, ammonian nitrites and nitrates cannot be actively selected by the plants. If the plants want to respire they have no choice but to take up the soluble nitrogen in the soil water. This can lead to bloated and dark or even blue-green plants with the attendant problems of over fertilised plants such as the mites you mention. Do you have a source of dry and carbon rich materials like straw which will complement the nitrogen-rich wet urine to make good compost? I would suggest that you experiment with this so that the nitrogen is neither wasted or forced on the plants but is available in that most interesting colloidal form of mature compost.
Some questions back to you please Dr.Anand. What is your soil like? Are the polyhouses ventilated well? What other conditions encourage the mites? What crops do well and what struggle in your area and soils?
Please do keep us in touch with the progress and observations you make, so we can all learn with you.
4. Hello Doc. I am from Pune and have a few potted plants like mint, peppermint, pomegranate, small growing plants. A few days past I have been noticing very tiny clusters of insects on the pomegranate plant on a few branches. What homeopathic meds should I use with what dilution and how many times to get rid of this. Thank you.
Mark Moodie: Hello Aspy
There may be something useful for your instance in the discussion immediately above with Dr Anand. I would also ask about any stresses (‘maintaining causes’) that the plant has endured recently – over and under watering and so forth.
What kind of insects are these? Are they aphids? If one puts ‘insect’ into the material medica at one gets this list:
|Hyss Of||Hyssop Oficinalis|
|BDM – KP||Kiwifruit Peppers|
|BiP – ros||Biplantol roses|
|BiP – vit||Biplantol vital NT|
|GW – 506||Dandelion 506|
|GW – WSPC||Winter–Spring Premium Combo Field Spray|
|GW – SFPC||Summer – Fall Premium Combo Field Spray|
|WS – RGRS||Rigorous|
|Sim – BT||Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT)|
|BDM – E1||Etherics1000 or E1|
If one searches for ‘aphid’ one gets this.
|Ment||MenthaViridis/ Piperita/Sativa spp.|
|BiP – C2||Biplantol contra x2|
|WS – RGRS||Rigorous|
|WS – BW||Black Warrant|
I hope from this that one can learn that the materia medica is somewhere along, but also that there is a long way to go and that one needs to know some other parameters before a confident prescription can be made. Five years ago I suspect that Kaviraj would have suggested Coccinella Septempunctata as a first ‘shot from the hip’ but perhaps his opinion has evolved with more experience and exposure to other research work. Does anyone know?
Again, please let us know what you try and whether it worked.
5. Greetings, much earlier you replied to an email question on Black Sigatoa Disease in the Caribbean. You suggested I use Sulph 30. Which I did with this result – sprayed it on the leaves on 14th January. No result so – on the 25th Jan I watered the remedy around the roots. At this time Feb 19th, I think there may be a very slight improvement. New leaves are still coming in and the older leaves are still showing signs of the disease. Any further recommendations?
Mark Moodie: Hello Patricia
What are the new leaves like compared to the old ones? If the new ones are healthy, perhaps the plants have ‘turned the corner’ and are now able to look after themselves? Can you describe Black Sigatoa Disease – it’s not one with which I am familia?. Is this a typo of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_sigatoka – a black spot disease? I’m also unfamiliar with it but one can search the material medica or the repertory (which is less complete and awaits time/finances tobring it up to date) at considera.org/rep
Start > Plants > Leaves > Spots > Brown > Circular elongating to streaks >
And up pops calc-phos. If we had used ‘dark and oblong’ at the end of the rubric trail above we could add ferr sulph and calc fluorata.
Unfortunately we are building this discipline, so confidence is low but perhaps you can try one and report back.
6. Dear Sir,
I live in Alberta, Canada. My garden is in full sun and we have sandy soil. How do I control carrot rust fly and maggots in my onions?
I also have an apple tree with fire blight: any remedy for this?
Mark Moodie: Hello Jean
This is more the climate with which I am familiar – I’m in the UK – although full sun is something almost only in folk memory in recent seasons! Sandy soil sounds conducive to good carrots. In the UK growers almost all use woven fleece against the carrot fly and areas without sand and fleece rarely grow them any more. Do you have any idea about the maggots? They are a surprise for me. Are the onions soft?
Fire blight into the search – see posts above – offers these for consideration:
Do report back!
7. Dear Dr. Kaviraj, Thank you very much for your previous replies to my questions about remedies for plum curculio, black knot on plums and rust.
As per your request in Dec.2012 issue of ATPD here is a brief information:
Climate: Temperate; Hardiness Zone 6
Location: City of Mississauga, SW Ontario, Canada
Weather: Wet and humid spring of 2012
Soil in the backyard: Soil Analysis enclosed
Fertilizer: Early spring 6-6-6 for turf but for garden and fruit trees composted cow and sheep manure.
Crop: a) Garden – lettuce, tomatoes, garlic, kale, collards, cucumbers, parsley, celery, spinach, red beet and herbs.
b) Fruit trees – cherries, plums, apples, pears (Asian and European types), grape vines (VitisLabrusca hybrids).
Plums: Plum Curculio, Black Knot
Pears: Severe attack of pear rust that not only looks ugly at the end of season but it decimates the crop and causes die-backof twigs and branches. Based on varieties in my collection and my experience, the European varieties are very susceptible and almost doomed to the extinction. Japanese varieties show less susceptibility. Chinese varieties are resistant, but stillaffected. Korean varieties are the most resistant.
All of the fruit trees received the dormant spray (oil plus lime sulfur) in February.
May 3, 2012 Thuja 6DH used in accordance with the given procedure i.e. 20 drops in a liter of water , succussed 50 times and mixed with 19lof tap water and stirred and then applied to the roots of all the trees.
May 19,2012 Second application of Thuja.
May23,2012 Aconitum applied to pears.
May 27,2012 Belladona 6DH applied to pears. Rust was noticeable on the number of leaves.
May 27, 2012 SambucusNigra applied to plums as some curculio damage was evident.
June22, 2012 Aconitum used again on pears as rust was severe.
June22,2012 SambucusNigra used on plums again as the severe fruit drop/loss was evident.
July 27, 2012 SprayedBelladona 6DH (prepared as recommended) on grape vines and pears severely affected by rust.
The attempts to control plum curculio and pear rust with the above procedures were not successful for some reasons.There was small improvement on the apples.
On the positive side, our friend used Thuja for Peach Leaf Curl on the peach and nectarine trees and had some crop after several fruitless years.
In my particular case, the presence of juniper trees (secondary rust host) and my neighbor’s neglected 2 pear trees do not help.
1. Was the described situation the case of “ too little too late” or the wrong approach?
2.Do you have any suggestions or recommendations how can I get better results?
3.Do you suggest that I make my own 6X Thuja potency as I have made Thuja mother tincture (MT) using 95 % ethyl alcohol?
The process would be :
Step 1 2 3 4 5 6
MT/Solution 1ml 10ml 100ml 1ml 10ml 100ml
Water 9ml 90ml 900ml 9ml 90ml 900ml
Total Volume 10ml 100ml 1000ml 10ml 100ml 1000ml
Potency 1X 2X 3X 4X 5X 6X
100 succussions would be applied at each step. The fourth step is repetition of step 1 but with 3X potency solution. Is this logic correct?
4. Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Mark Moodie: Dear Slavko
Great report. Of course I would love there to have been more dramatic success but that is insignificant compared to honest reporting.
You asked four questions
1. Was the described situation the case of “ too little too late” or the wrong approach?
I have no idea. These are the tangled knots we may never untangle. It could have been either of these, or a case of ‘when the well chosen remedy fails to act’ – one of my favourite homeopathic rubrics. But perhaps you have a hunch? What would you answer to your own question?
2. Do you have any suggestions or recommendations how can I get better results?
In the absence of inspiration one is abandoned to logic and sweat. Let us assume that it was too little too late for last season. If you try the same remedy this year but earlier, you will have more experience to assist you to decide if that was the issue. If it was the wrong approach one would need to try another – such as another remedy (see the material medica and repertory suggestions above), or screening the trees from the secondary hosts, or looking to find out what has stressed the plants so that the disease symptoms are manifested and rectifying those maintaining causes.
3. Do you suggest that I make my own 6X Thuja potency as I have made Thuja mother tincture (MT) using 95 % ethyl alcohol?
The quality of remedies is a most interesting ‘black box’ I’d rather keep closed. We have to trust our pharmacies or find a different one. However (one of the sayings that made Kaviraj laugh was “Take my advice. I’m not using it!”), I make my own remedies and it is a wonderful process. I’d recommend everyone tries who is really interested. It is a little like saving ones own seed – a part of a cycle that we often delegate to others, and often for good reason. Seed breeding and prep making are real crafts. So please do have a go.
Kaviraj had the theory that the impact or energy of a preparation was as much to do with the number of succussions as the potency used. One might make the analogy that it was like the turns on a spring in a clockwork mechanism – and that may turn out to be a terribly inapt analogy! But that was part of Kavi’s thinking and you can follow or not.
I think your process is right for the D or X scale but you can start a succession with any volume and continue with any volume as long as the ratio remains 1:9 of previous potency to base solution.
4. Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
See the answer to 2 above and keep making observations and keeping records. Many many thanks.
8. Dear Dr. Kaviraj,
In Dutch greenhouses profuse root growth is more and more becoming a problem. It is a problem in tomatoes, eggplant and cucumber. Pepper also can have profuse root growth but it is not affecting the yield. The profuse roots are especially a problem where the plants need to root in rock wool substrate. Rock wool substrate is a bad environment for the population of soil microbials in general. This is caused by the absence of organic matter in the substrate. As soon as more organic matter is accumulated (from roots that died) microbials start to develop. The profuse root growth is connected with Agrobacterium thumefaciens. This bacterium transports some of its DNA into the plant roots that then start to grow profusely. When few other root zone inhabiting micro-organisms are present the Agrobacterium t. grows profusely as well because the bacterium sends chemical messages to sister bacteria that stimulate further growth. When other bacteria and fungi are present these will eat the messenger molecules and the Agrobacterium t. will be kept at bay.
When the roots are growing profusely because of this Agrobacterium they become a hard knot in the rock wool mat. The drip system that waters the plants gets stuck as well as the pipes for drain water. For many plants the profuse root growth means the production of flowers and fruits is limited. Understandably so because the root growth consumes all growing power and the irrigation is blocked.
The disease is “treated” by giving anti bacterials like chlorine, peroxide and colloidal silver. The chlorine “burns” the root lumps, the growers say. But of course it also damages the plants and of course the feable soil micro-organisms in the rock wool mat. The problem of profuse root growth can occur soon after planting the plantlets in the substrate and will last till the end of the production period. Once a nursery is contaminated with the Agrobacterium t. the problem with profuse root growth will be present in all subsequent production cycles. What would be your line of working if you would cure this problem?
This is interesting. My first knee-jerk response is that the plants are telling you that they just aren’t content in rock wool and they are telling you this by growing deformed. This is the maintaining cause.
However, my second response is perhaps more useful and pragmatic. Your description reminded me of an experience from the biodynamic school. There is a great researcher in New Zealand called Glen Atkinson whose approach and tools come from biodynamics but who uses them in a potentised form. You can see his work at bdmax.co.nz . He met Kaviraj and they worked a little on the diseased chestnut trees in Holland. Glen’s approach does not rely on material medica and repertory so much as an unfashionable understanding of what a plant is. In extreme distillation, the understanding is that the activity that builds a plant is ever flowing and that the manifest plant is the outcome of the state of that flow at the time each leaf emerges. I hope that you can imagine that. With that image in mind one can guide the plant like a sculptor by the use of the remedies in the biodynamic tool bag and various other things. Glen was trying to increase the energy in the roots of kumara / sweet potato. Whilst this occurred (25% increase and earlier root crop) there was also a reduced activity in the flower and fruit, as you mention for tomatoes, eggplant and cucumber .(Interestingly not for peppers: an enigma for another time perhaps.) This was successful in an increased yield of the sweet potato but was even more successful by using the same potency for reducing fruit split. Fruit split is a huge problem for growers who can get twice the price at market for fruit that can be shown at the front of the shop compared to those that can only be pulped for juice. Even worse, split fruit opens itself to moulds and so forth! From googling around there seems to be nothing else that can deal with fruit split even in the chemical approach.
So from that I take heart in the homeopathic/biodynamic method and feel that there is something in the way of understanding a plant that seems relevant to your situation. Perhaps one can find the complementary preparation to Glen’s (which he calls ZeroIn – ), ie one that sculpts the plant to emphasise the fruit and not the root. I would suggest that you talk to Glen and see if he can suggest something that would bring your plant back more towards a balanced form.
9. Respected Kaviraj
I am planning a terrace garden and I propose to sow seeds of tomatoes and green pepper (Chillies). Should I treat seed (before sowing) with homeopathic dose as prescribed by you, or should I sprinkle the homeopathic water on the soil? My trough size in which I propose to sow these seeds is 36 square feet.
Mark Moodie: Dear P D Bhatt
There is some work with seed baths that has been encouraging. You can find links to that by putting ‘seed bath’ into the search box at Considera – see above. This gives:
|BDCompost||Combined biodynamic compost preparations 502 – 507|
|E – S2||Seed II|
|E-S38||Seedbath Against Lodging|
|E-S06||Resistance to Drought Seedbath|
Clearly the biodynamic people have been making use of the 60 year head-start on the agrohomeopathic school. What would you spray on the soil? Do you have a good idea for a balanced spray even before seeing how the plants grow? (There are some in the BD world, but I have not heard that claimed in the agrohomeopathic world.) I would concentrate on developing a good and balanced soil in your terrace.
Please let us know what you do and what occurs
10. Dear Kaviraj,
I am having a problem with a white fuzzy mold on my plants. I am in Puerto Rico. I’ve treated them with silicea to strengthen them since they are in a container garden.
Mark Moodie: Dear Elizabeth.
What plants, what soil and what feeding and watering schedule do you have? It would also be useful to hear a closer description on the white fuzzy mold. Mildew? Downey? All over the plant?Just one side of leaves??? Have you noticed any effect from the silicea so far?
11. Respected sir, Namaskar. I am Dr. Basanta kumar Dashi (BHMS) want to know that, how to protect the flowers of a mango tree, during a mist environment and what will be the remedy and its dose.
Basanta Kumar Dashj.
Dear Dr Basanta
I am unsure what you mean ‘during a mist environment’. Can you explain in other words please? What would happen to the mango flowers if they were left alone?